Cleveland, OH — A mother has filed a lawsuit after a Lakewood officer was caught on video brutally assaulting her child for no apparent reason. The entire incident, according to the lawsuit was over her wearing headphones.
Sabrina Robinson filed a lawsuit this week, alleging that officer Kevin Jones with the Lakewood police department violated her daughter's civil rights when he grabbed her for no reason, put her in a headlock and smashed her face into the book cart on the way out, slamming her down and leaving her bleeding out on the concrete steps of the library.
As Cleveland.com reports, the lawsuit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, also alleges that the city of Lakewood failed to train its officers how to treat children with dignity and respect, and that Jones and other officers failed to provide medical care to the girl as she lay bleeding on the front steps of the library.
"As parents, we expect that our children will be safe at a public library and that library employees will protect them from violence, not attack them," the family's attorney, Subodh Chandra, said in a news release.
According to the complaint, the 17-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother are frequent visitors to the library.
The girl was listening to music on her cellphone, using her headphones, when Officer Jones approached her to turn it down, according to the lawsuit.
At this point, the girl got up and moved to a chair by her little brother and started watching videos on her laptop — through her headphones — this time, sharing one headphone with her brother.
Jones, who seemingly had it out for the girl, then approached her again and demanded she take her feet off the chair in front of her. The girl immediately complied. The video then shows Jones continue to harass the 17-year-old from across the room until he walked back to her, stood over the top of her, and demanded she leave the library.
According to the lawsuit and the video, when the girl stood up, Jones wouldn't move out of the way to let the girl leave. Even when she said, "excuse me," the abusive officer continued to intimidate and block her from leaving.
With no justification, Jones then grabs the girl by the neck and hurls her toward the front of the library. A little boy in the video becomes clearly frightened and runs away as the officer almost plows the girl directly into him.
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As we can see in the video, and according to the lawsuit, after smashing the girl into various obstacles on the way out of the library, the cop then gets her outside and falls on top of her with all his weight. She fell face first with him on top of her, snapping her jaw with the impact.
The cop then left her out on the front steps of the library like an animal as he waited for responding officers to arrive.
Instead of calling for an ambulance to help the clearly injured girl, Jones and the other officers laughed about clocking off early, according to the suit. One of the officers went so far as to tell the poor girl to stop bleeding on the concrete and move to the grass instead.
After breaking her jaw and laughing at her while she suffered, the girl was finally taken to Cleveland Clinic where she was treated for a broken jaw.
Jones told the girl's mother, Sabrina Robinson, that her daughter was "mouthing off" to him and refused to leave, according to the lawsuit. However, as the video clearly shows, this is not the case.
The officer was also wearing a body camera which shows the same scenario from his perspective.
The entire scene unfolded in front of the girl's 11-year-old brother who now, like his sister, is scared to death of returning to the library.
As for Officer Jones, he was found, in an internal investigation, to have used excessive force when dealing with the teen who'd done nothing wrong. The department noted that he should've de-escalated the situation rather than immediately assault the girl as seen in the video.
Jones was found in violation of the department's use of force policy, yet he still remains on the force, according to the lawsuit.
For more evidence that policing in America is getting increasingly violent, take a scroll through our archives, here.